Welsh Springer Spaniel

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Welsh Springer Spaniel

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As an excellent choice for a family pet, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is somewhat smaller and lighter than an English Springer. But before becoming a family dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel was an excellent pointer and hunting dog.

Its main job was to spring game to allow hunters to shoot them. More recently, the dog breed has shifted to become a family dog. What you need to remember is that the dog is smart and energetic. Also, it’s a loyal friend and an excellent hunter.

Want to learn more about the Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breed?

In this post, we discuss the history of the Welsh Springer Spaniel, its general appearance, personality, training, and more.

History of the Welsh Springer Spaniel

As a medium-sized hunting dog, the Welsh Springer Spaniel was first bred in Wales around the 13th century. According to leading historians, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is one of the oldest descendants of the original spaniels from the Iberian Peninsula.

The word “spaniel” comes from the word “Spaniard.” What you need to know is that all spaniels were called Cocking or Cockers Spaniel.

They were named so for the function they performed. Early breeders interbred a variety of dogs at the time. Later, they established a breeding program where they separated Water Spaniels from Land Spaniels. The Welsh Springer Spaniel originates from the Land Spaniels.

During the 1700s, the Welsh Springer Spaniel became a favorite hunting dog for the English nobility. But in the 1800s, the Welsh Springer Spaniel was replaced by English Springers and other spaniels. This did not affect the popularity of the Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breed.

During the same period, the Welsh Springer Spaniel competed in dog shows in the same class as English Springers. The only difference was in the coat color.

One notable breeder of the Welsh Springer Spaniel dog breed was A.T Williams. He loved the breed for its intelligence and working abilities. In fact, he lobbied for the preservation of the dog breed. His passion for breeding Welsh Springer Spaniels started with his grandfather in the 1800s, who also owned Welsh Springer Spaniels.

A.T. Williams had a Welsh Springer Spaniel called Corrin. It was born in 1893 and was an essential stud of his breed.

Official Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Welsh Springer Spaniel received official recognition by Britain’s Kennel Club in 1902. Initially, the breed was called the Welsh Cocker or Welsh Spaniel. But Kennel Gazette called it a Welsh Springer to designate it as a separate breed. Today, its officially called the Welsh Springer Spaniel.

The first Welsh Springer Spaniels were imported to America in the late 1800s. In the US, they gained popularity very quickly, leading to their official recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1914. Their popularity and breeding declined during World War I and II.

In fact, the American Kennel Club did not register any Welsh Springer Spaniels between 1926 and 1948. To revive the breed, American breeders imported Welsh Springer Spaniels from England. This led to the formation of the Welsh Springer parent club in 1961.

General Appearance

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a compact and attractive dog built for endurance and hard work. It has angled forequarters and well-developed hindquarters. As a hunting dog, it has a long and slightly arched body. With long sloping shoulders, its topline is level while the loin is slightly arched and muscular.

The chest is well developed with a prominent fore chest and well-sprung ribs. For the coat, its soft and naturally straight to the touch with a dark vibrant red and white color. It’s also dense, thornproof, waterproof, and weatherproof. The forequarters and hindquarters are moderately feathered while around the tail and ears; they are lightly feathered.

Personality and Training

The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a loving and social animal. But compared to the English Springer Spaniel, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is less outgoing. Why? The Welsh Springer Spaniel is sensitive to people. Although the dog breed is energetic, he is relatively calm.

Good with children, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is loyal and devoted. In fact, when at home with the family, you will note that the dog follows the family members everywhere. While he is not aggressive, he is watchful and alert. You can count on him to alert the family in case of strangers at your doorstep.

A Welsh Springer Spaniel has many talents – retrieving, tracking, bird flushing, and hunting. When it comes to training, keep the sessions positive and short. This is more suited to their attention span and personality. If you train the Welsh Springer Spaniel with patience and understanding, you will have a companion for life.

Taking Care of Your Welsh Springer Spaniel

A Welsh Springer Spaniel can live comfortably in a city apartment or even in the country. As energetic dogs, they need plenty of exercises. While the average size yard can be sufficient, it’s wise to incorporate long walks and runs too. This will keep the Welsh Springer Spaniel from becoming bored, fat, and lazy.

Don’t forget to brush the dog’s coat every week. Use a stiff bristle brush for your weekly brushing.


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